We are beginning our series on the endocannabinoid system with the CB2 neuroreceptor. The CB2 neuro is rapidly becoming the most well known of the endocannabinoid “sites” due to the prevelance of CBD oils and tinctures. We will get to those in a sec, but lets look at the what and where’s of CB2’s!
CB2’s are found throughout the body. But CB2 expression are more heavy within the immune system. CB2’s express in the CNS during times of inflammation. CB2’s participate heavily in the immune regulation process.The internal ligand that binds to CB2 is called 2-Arachidonoylglycerol or (2-AG). It appears that 2-AG is used by cells to signal other cells that they are “under repair”. One of the mysteries of the human body has always been…how does your body know what to inflame when trauma occurs? Cells expressing 2-AG would create an inflammation boundry and would signal other cells that there is repair underway. Interestingly, some cancer cells “over-express” 2-AG which basically tells other immune cells to “leave me alone” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4783962/).
So what does all this mean? Well lets go logical for a sec! CB2’s down regulate. CB2’s calm. CB2’s signal repair. CB2’s are a way our bodies use to down regulate organs or cells or systems.So how can we influence the CB2 side of the endocannabinoid system? We employ 3 different neuro strategies of influence. Stimulate, block, or extend the reaction. We can do all of these things both at CB1 and CB2 using non-cannabis plants. For instance, beta-caryophollene is in a lot of common herbs and spices. Black Pepper is an excellent source of beta-caryophollene. Beta Caryophollene was identified as a CB2 agonist (stimulator) in 2014 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924977X13003027).
There are also plant based antagonists (blockers) and plant based reaction extenders (uptake inhibitors).Manipulating the CB2 neurology appears to have profound effects on the bodies abilities to manage inflammation. Proper inflammation management means proper pain management. We have found that the endocannabinoid system is a RESOURCE driven system. Without resources we break. Without inflammation resources we cannot control our inflammation response. It is just that simple!
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